Thursday, May 8, 2008


As in the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. Yes, it's an ugly old highway that I rarely used because we don't drive. So why will I miss it? Well, it gets many a friend between the Queens and Brooklyn boroughs, and Sufjan immortalized it in symphony at the BAM last fall. A symphony accompanied by hula hoops.

Sufjan's honesty about the highway, not the hula hoops, is what made me a BQE fan-girl. While acknowledging that the BQE represents "bad planning, congestion, and pollution," he sees its more important role in social and economic development:
"[The BQE] is a good way to read the history of Brooklyn from pre-war to World War II to the postwar era. Originally, it was built for transportation purposes, but during the war it served defense purposes. After the war, it was there to create jobs. I think it's much more relevant now than ever, with the building boom around the city, and the Atlantic Yards project. It's hard to imagine we're living in an era with hundreds of projects going on simultaneously." Read on...

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